A few Saturdays ago I went to see chillwave superstar Toro y Moi, now on tour promoting his third studio release Anything in Return. The show started at 8 p.m. and I’ve been to so many shows now that I know that means the main act won’t take stage until at least 9:30. Call me a bad concert-goer but I usually skip the opening acts, mostly because I’m always late to everything. To play it safe though I rolled in at 9:15, but this is the one time I wish I’d been on time. Indie/soul/jazz band Wild Belle was performing, and I could have gone home happy just seeing their set.
Wild Belle is Natalie and Elliot Bergman, a brother and sister duo who grew up in Chicago. I’d never really heard of them before, but if their electrifying performance that night was any indication, come this time next year they won’t be supporting big indie acts — they’ll be the big indie act. You can always tell that an opening band is good if people are actually paying attention to them. You know the drill: usually the floor is empty and people just mill around by the bars or hang out by the stairs and text people who aren’t there until the band they came to see takes the stage. But that night, everybody was captivated by Wild Belle. On “Keep You,” Natalie’s smooth, raspy voice is sort of weird and coos over a soulful haze that feels like an indie twist on an old school sound. I was just waiting on somebody to light a joint on stage. The whole room nearly lost it when Elliot busted out his saxophone — as if I wasn’t already sold on their sound.
Wild Belle’s debut record Isles drops this March on Columbia Records.